[FoRK] Re: flag burning...

Corinna corinna.schultz
Mon Oct 31 12:47:50 PST 2005

<mattj at newsblip.com> wrote in message
> Quoting Corinna <corinna.schultz at gmail.com>:
>> I made everyone stand up, though, to show respect.
> Interesting.  If schools still had a daily prayer, would you make everyone 
> bow
> their heads, to show respect?

If the law said that, say, the Lord's Prayer had to be recited (I remember 
doing that in 3rd grade, in Rio Hondo, TX), I would talk about why it's 
unconstitutional, say that it was up to them whether or not to pray, but 
that they have to sit quietly out of respect for those that wanted to. (Not 
bow heads, since that's a religious posture.)

It's a fine line because as a teacher I'm a representative of the state. 
It's a difficult ethical position (akin to police who have to enforce the 
law even if they think it is unconstitutional). But I heard some teachers 
who explicitly forbade their students to participate, and I don't agree with 
that kind of agression in the classroom.  I'm not sure my choice was any 
better, really -- too wishy-washy for my taste, but as a teacher there were 
so many ethical problems for me. That's one reason I was glad to get a 
programming job instead.

For what it's worth, I didn't actually follow the letter of the law, which 
said that students could be exempted with a parent's letter, because at the 
high school level, I think kids should be able to make that kind of decision 
for themeselves (I did have a few that felt strongly about it). So I didn't 
require a letter.

When I sent my son to Kindergarten, I talked to the teacher, and sent a 
formal letter that we didn't want him saying the pledge. We told him to 
stand quietly or whatever the teacher said to do, but that we didn't want 
him saying it because he shouldn't say things he didn't (and couldn't) 

>> Patriotic citizens, under
>> the watchful eyes of a free press, march up to a flag pole outside of an
> (Perhaps you'd feel as Democrats felt
> when the (choreographed) Republican mob invaded the ballot-counting 
> offices in
> Florida.  But more so, since your opponents are *taking our flag!* )

I'm actually not familiar with this situation, but from what you said above, 
as long as they were orderly, non-threatening, I wouldn't have a problem 
with it (as an outsider, that is. If I were there, I would probably feel 
threatened. I've never been in that kind of situation, so I'm only 

One difference, though, is that the flag is outside, so you're not invading 
anybody, and the sense of threat is (or can be) minimized. I wonder how this 
kind of action would be received, though.

If I were the activist type, and I were to organize a flag-taking, I'd start 
with Congress. They aren't doing their checks-and-balances duties, and are 
thereby undermining the Constitution pretty seriously.


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